Owls win third straight

Women’s gymnastics keeps momentum rolling at Towson Invite.

The women’s gymnastics team continued their winning ways, placing first for the third straight week. At the Towson Invite, the team posted a score of 192.325 and the Owls defeated Cornell (191.925), host Towson (189.375), and Ursinus (183.775).

“I think that all this is stemming off our great home meet,” coach Aaron Murphy said. “It started there, the girls had all the energy from that weekend, which carried through to UPenn, and I think that carried through to the Towson Invite.  They got out there, they put out a good show for all the fans, and they hit their routines.”

Temple’s current momentum is largely due to their increasing success on the floor exercise, as they tallied a score of 48.400, the most of any team in any event in the competition.  Jasmine Johnson led the Owls with a 9.775, which was also the highest individual floor score of the meet.

“I just think they’re coming into their own on floor,” Murphy said.  “In the beginning of the season, I think their confidence level wasn’t there just yet.  Because they’re throwing some pretty big floor routines, some really difficult last passes that take a lot of energy.  I just think that the past month they’ve gotten into a little bit better shape, and we really forced them to showcase what they have, and I think everything we’ve done in the gym has paid off for them.”

Temple was consistent across the board in Maryland, as the only event the Owls failed to score at least a 48 in was the uneven bars.  But the difference between that event and the floor was less than .7 points, as Temple tallied a 47.775 in this particular event.

However, Murphy said the two falls on the bars were uncharacteristic, due to the solid practices they’ve had from everybody on that team in practice.

Meanwhile, Temple did have a few standouts in the all-around.  Freshman Brianna Odom finished third out of the seven competitors with a score of 38.225.

“To have freshman Brianna Odom coming in third place is really cool,” Murphy said. “She’s really earned her spots on the four events.  We don’t give it to them, they really have to earn it every week, to make each event for our competition.”

Sophomore Reagan Oliveri finished as the top all-around competition of the meet, tallying a score of 38.750.  She also finished as the top individual scorer in the balance beam, with a score of 9.750.

“Reagan Oliveri was able to get back into the all-around for us,” Murphy said.  “She started in the all-around in the beginning of the season…Now she’s back into it, and she’s a strong girl across the board.  I look forward to the next few years with her, because I think she’s only going to get better.”

Some other stand-out individual performances included senior Sylvie Borschel and junior Lauren Capone.  Borschel finished tied for fifth overall in the balance beam with a score of 9.650.  Capone was fourth overall in the vault, posting a score of 9.675.

Up next for Temple is a trip to Rutgers University, which also includes Ursinus and Penn State.

“Going into Rutgers this weekend, with the powerhouse of Penn State being there, our focus is really more along a point scale,” Murphy said.  “Everyone out there is the game of sports is concerned about wins and losses, but for gymnastics it really isn’t.  At the end of the season, when we talk about post-season qualifying, it’s not a win-loss column, it’s a points system.”

This idea has Murphy’s team in a particular mindset.

“So our main focus is really just to outdo ourselves,” Murphy added.  So when we compete at Rutgers, we make sure we’re not focusing on watching Penn State or watching Rutgers.  So stay to ourselves and our gymnastics and hopefully we’ll be on the up and up.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steven.bohnel@temple.edu or on Twitter @SteveSportsGuy1.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.